Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, a fugitive since April 2013, is an alleged Russian mafia boss accused of operating a criminal enterprise out of Trump Tower from 2011 to 2013. Here are five things you should know about the reputed mobster.
Tokhtakhounov is wanted for allegedly fixing an Olympic competition.
Tokhtakhounov, nicknamed Taiwanchik (referring to his Asiatic features),allegedly rigged an ice skating competition at the 2002 Olympics, according to reports. He was indicted in the United States on charges of fixing the event in order to ensure Russian skaters and a French duo would win gold medals in exchange for a visa to allow him to go to France.
Tokhtakhounov was in Russia when federal agents busted into Trump Tower.
When federal agents rounded up 29 suspected members of two gambling rings believed to be headed by Tokhtakhounov, he wasn’t there.
After the Salt Lake City Olympic accusations, Tokhtakhounov fled. He was arrested in Italy, but denied the charges and was released, Mother Jones reported. Since then, he has been residing in Russia.
Tokhtakhounov was Donald Trump’s red carpet VIP.
In 2013, Trump decided to hold the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, calling the move “a big deal that will bring our countries together,” Politico reported.
“Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant,” he tweeted later on the same day. “[I]f so, will he become my new best friend?”
Less than a year after federal agents stormed Trump Tower and arrested alleged members of Tokhtakhounov’s gang, Tokhtakhounov was a VIP guest at Trump’s red carpet event.
While speaking to Mother Jones, Tokhtakhounov denied he was there, until the non-profit news organization reminded him of the photos, videos and other proof.
Tokhtakhounov is an author.
Aside from investing in real estate and organizing Russian pop concerts and fashion shows, he is a writer.
“I live peacefully on this business and raise my children,” he told The New York Times in 2013.
His novel, “Angel From Couture: A Novel From the Life of High Fashion,” is a semiautobiographical work published in 2010 based on his life in the world of Russian modeling in the 1990s.
The Times reported that the book's inside cover describes the tale as, “What happens when a young beauty falls for the charms of an older man.”
In 2012, Tokhtakhounov fathered twin girls with a woman 40 years younger, the Times reported.
Tokhtakhounov is known as a “thief in law.”
United States officials have called Tokhtakhounov a “Vor v Zakone,” or “thief in law,” sometimes known as a Vor.
Vors are considered almost priestly, the Times reported, risen from prison hierarchies. Vors never marry, work or tell lies.
“Let me explain something,” he told the Times. “A thief in law, if he is a thief, he should not say, ‘I am not a thief.’ He should say, ‘I am a thief.’ And I say, ‘I am not a thief.’ You understand.”
The fugitive has awife, Svetlana, according to some reports.